The man with the horse head comes to me when I need him. He comes to me and I feel him and I go to look and he is always *there.* There being there, wherever *there* is.
Do you understand?
He’s there when I open the door. He’s there in the night when I open the blinds. He’s there when I pull back the ventilation duct grill. He’s there when I lift the doorway access to the attic.
He’s there for me.
I first met him on the internet, believe it or not. He was in pictures on Google Street View. I found him and he was looking at me. I don’t think anyone else could see him. I looked in Mexico, he was there. I looked in Brazil, he was there. I looked in Iceland, he was there. Everywhere I looked, he would crop up.
Then he cropped up in my dreams. He doesn’t talk to me, but I know, I could *feel* that he was on my side, that he was good.
Do you understand?
I could fucking *feel* it in me.
He’s usually naked with a horse’s head. Not a real horse’s head, of course – it ‘s a plastic horse’s head. It always the same. It’s always looking right at me. Always.
The horse head man hasn’t always been there, but I’ve been so happy since he was there. I was so happy that he took care of things for me. Not little things, bigger things. He was there when I needed to get back at others without linking back to me. He was there when I was getting bullied and pushed around. He was there when wanted to avoid a messy divorce. He was there when that bitch wouldn’t take care of the pregnancy.
Now that I think about it, he was there for a long time before I really understood. That kid in the 10th grade that wanted to fight me for no reason – the horse head man was there, standing in the shadows of the maple tree when Scott punched me at the bus stop.
Then he was there when Scott fell and broke his leg.
He was there when I was masturbating out behind the shed. He was close then. So close but I didn’t recognize it as him. Not yet. I wasn’t fully aware. I am now. I recognize the feeling. I understand what it means.
Do you understand?
Now, I call to him and he comes to me. I don’t so much call him as “will” him to come to me. I don’t need to catch a glimpse of him in the shadows, like I said, he’s there when I open the blinds or pull open the ventilation grill. He’s there and he listens to me, and then he goes away and things happen.
One time, I went to him and I was selfish about it. I thought it was the right thing to do, and he punished me. Or at least I think it was him. No, it was. He punished me by pushing me away and wreaking havoc on me. Havoc and mayhem. I have the scars to prove it.
Mustn’t be selfish. Mustn’t be selfish.
Or maybe it’s all in my head. I can’t tell anyone – how could I? I’d get locked up for sure.
In the cold of the night, I woke up because I felt him. I opened the closet door and he was there, his horse head pushed down through the attic access panel in the ceiling, my skin pricked up in goosebumps and I knew I had to follow.
The attic smelled musty and old, you know, that same smell in everyone’s attic. The insulation was pushed aside into a nest and I clenched my eyes shut for a few seconds to get used to the dark.
His nest was filled with clippings. Clippings of me, secret photos that neither he nor I had taken. Secrets that I would prefer that nobody knew. My stomach tightened and my throat went dry; he had some pretty damning dirt on me.
“What do you want?” I turned to ask him but he was gone already. I turned back to the nest and it was gone, too. I scrambled out of the attic and into the shower to wash off the insulation, the stink of attics and betrayal, of misplaced trust and a lifetime of black debt.
I felt him again the next night, and this time I met him in my back yard, the crisp smell of night shocking my lungs. He disappeared into the bushes between my yard and Tara’s yard (the bitch). I jogged to catch up to him.
Going through the bushes, I turned my head and put my hand over my eyes to block out the bright light. I was in a garden and there were others like him, like my horse-headed man, wandering about.
I jumped when he put a hand on my shoulder – he had never touched me before – and he held my arm and led me to a door. The door had a minimalist, iconic design of a human head and a horse’s head on it. He put my hand on the handle and gestured for me to go inside.
I really did have a dream that a horse-headed man would do my dirty deeds. I decided it was an interesting tale. I leave it up to you, gentle reader, to decide what happens behind that door. Do I become him? Do I join him as a horse-headed man? Do I die?